Don Kong Island in Si Phan Don in Laos Don Kong Island in Si Phan Don

Laos, part 3 – the Irrawaddy dolphins

Posted by on Feb 9, 2013 in Laos, Travel
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To spend eight hours perched on various wooden long tail boats, interjected by a spell of cycling across an island, for a chance (with no guarantee) to see the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins is madness. A masochistic madness borne of a life-long fascination with cetaceans … and as Riff Raff so eloquently sang: “madness takes its toll”.


View of the guesthouses and decks overlooking the Mekong river on Don Khong island, Si Phan Don, Laos Pons Guesthouse on Don Khong island, Si Phan Don, Laos

Laos, part 2 – Si Phan Don & Don Khong island

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in Laos, Travel
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The Mekong river, having traversed the length of Laos on its journey from Tibet to the South China Sea, takes a breath at Si Phan Don before crashing down a series of waterfalls and entering Cambodia.

Si Phan Don, loosely translated as the four thousand islands, is located on the widest stretch of the Mekong’s journey seawards. The river appears languid and lazy curling around islets and islands; flowing gently but surely. Like the river, life on the islands is slow and sure; unhurried and contemplative.


Laos and communist flags in from of the Indochina Bank in Pakse, Laos Flags flying in the late afternoon light in Pakse, Laos

Laos, part 1 – Pakse

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Laos, Travel
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Lacking Cambodia’s ruins and tumultuous history, Thailand’s culture and regional power and Vietnam’s long history and story of conflict, Laos seems like the ignored quiet child in the back row of the classroom by comparison.

Yet for all that is understated and little-known about Laos, scratch its surface and you’ll find a fascinating and laid-back nation worthy of far greater attention.